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And Now For Something Completely Different
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And Now For Something Completely Different

And Now For Something Completely Different is a film spinoff from the television comedy series Monty Python's Flying Circus. The title originated as a catchphrase in the TV show. Many Python fans feel that it excellently describes the nonsensical, non sequitur feel of the program.

Catchphrase

Many of the early episodes of the show feature a sensible-looking announcer (played by John Cleese) dressed in a sensible black suit and sitting behind a sensible wooden desk, which in turn was in some ridiculous location such as behind the bars of a zoo cage or in mid-air being held aloft by small attached propellers. The announcer would turn to the audience and announce "and now for something completely different", launching the show's opening credits. It derived from the kind of phrase used to link items in a TV "magazine show" such as the BBC's Tonight, which alternated current affairs and interviews with lighter human interest material.

The phrase was also used as a transition within the show. Often it would be added to in order to better explain the transition, for instance, "And now for something completely different: a man with a tape recorder up his nose." In later episodes the credits-launching was reduced to a split-second stock footage of the announcer saying "And now..." in a similar fashion as was done with its predecessor (the "It's" man). It was replaced by a naked pianist.

Film

The film, released in 1971, consists of 90 minutes of the best sketches seen in the first two series of the TV show. The sketches were remade on film without an audience laugh track, and was intended for an American audience which had not yet seen the series. The announcer uses the phrase "and now for something completely different" several times during the film, in situations such as being roasted on a spit and lying on top of the desk in a small, pink bikini.

The film did not offer anything extra for British fans, except the opportunity to see the sketches in colour at a time when many viewers still had black and white sets, and indeed many were disappointed that the film seemed to belie its title. It was funded by Victor Lowndes of Playboy magazine.